Think Of It As An Experiment
A couple of nights ago I dreamt that I had lost my Ginnea Pig. I was very upset and looked everywhere for it. I don’t have a Ginnea Pig, nor am I drawn to Ginnea Pigs in any way, so I know my dream animal is symbolic. A quick inventory of associations to “Ginnea Pigs in my culture reveals that they represent the idea of an “experiment”. We use the word ginea pig in a loose way to mean a “test” subject…some entity on whom we try something out. We may “test” a particular hypothesis.
So, now I ask myself “How have I lost my own inner Ginnea pig?”..In what way(s) do I live a life that does not “test out” new ideas, adventures, identities, friends…fill in the blank?. The answer to this question is obvious. Like many people, I live my life mostly by habit. I repeat activities, thoughts, and ideas over and over. New things often intimidate me, threaten me, or challenge core assumptions I live my life by, so I shy away. All of this happens quite unconsciously for the most part.
I believe my dream last night was a message from a deeper place within me. It is a place that dares to challenge the status quo of my very self. Deep within me, in a place that I could call my “authentic” self….or my “transcendent” self…my inner ginnea pig is alive and well. Usually it is hidden from view, like the toolbar on my mac that I inadvertently hid and then rediscovered. Voila!…..It lives!!
Unfortunately, as much as that inner dream voice tries to assert itself (if I take time to listen), there is an equally strong force within me that does not like UNPREDICTABILITY…and unpredictability goes along with experimentation. “No, no”, says this voice. “keep things within your little locus of control” Really Leslie, how arrogant…as if that were even possible. Who do you think you are?
What I want instead is to welcome in the ginnea pig of my dream. What if I could have the attitude, each day, that this day is just another opportunity to experiment? I like to picture myself as the mad scientist of my life, wildly putting ingrediants together in new ways. Would I sometimes create an explosion of unintended consequences? Of course. Would I “miss the mark” of expectation and fail miserably. Absolutely. But, I believe that if my intention was always to “do no harm” to others and in fact be a force for good…I would have to move forward. Movement always leaves opportunity for course correction, but no movement means no course to correct.
So tonight as I drift into sleep I’m going to invite that little Ginnea Pig back into my dreams. I’m gonna find that critter and see what else he has to say. I invite you to do the same. Think of it as an Experiment!